With their superstars neutralized early on, the depth of the Thomas Jefferson High roster started to emerge.
When things finally opened up, the superstars finished the job.
Yes, these Raiders are a force to be reckoned with.
Thomas Jefferson took one step closer to earning its eighth Class 4A title in school history with a dominant 3-0 win over Snohomish on Friday night in the state semifinals at Sparks Stadium.
The Raiders will take on Union (16-2), a 2-1 winner over Roosevelt, for the 4A state championship at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“They believe in each other,” Thomas Jefferson coach Dave Hanson said. “(It) doesn’t matter who I put on the field, they’re going to play (hard).”
Snohomish (19-2) kept things close early, allowing only Matthew Cruz’s putback goal at point-blank range in the 13th minute, which gave the Raiders a 1-0 halftime lead.
But as the Panthers turned up the offensive intensity in the second half, the veteran-laden Thomas Jefferson made them pay. Luis Alvaro Osornio scored on a free kick from 15 yards out in the 53rd minute, blasting a low laser from the left side that was headed for the right corner until a sliding Snohomish defender deflected it into the upper left corner.
Indeed, as just three minutes later midfielder Isidro Prado-Huerta centered a pass for Brandon Madsen, who converted easily.
Snohomish, a team that scored 64 goals this season and allowed just 14 coming into the match, was overmatched on both sides of the ball all night. Jefferson goalkeeper McKay Owsley needed just 10 saves to record the shutout, his 10th of the season.